About 50 percent of Canadian Living survey respondents say they eat out or order in once a week or more. It might be convenient, but if you're buying your lunch, it can get expensive— and it's easy to rack up calories. Use these tips to pack delicious healthful lunches, and save money while you're at it.
1. Build a canning-jar salad. Put dressing at the bottom, then stack the salad ingredients from least to most likely to get soggy (lettuce at the top!) to keep the ingredients fresh and appealing. When you're ready for lunch, shake your salad in the jar or toss it in a bowl.
2. Try a tiffin box. These stackable stainless-steel food containers let you pack food separately, so you can graze on healthful foods all day. In the first container, keep your morning fruit and yogurt; in the second, include a quinoa salad; then at the bottom, store whole grain crackers or trail mix for an afternoon snack.
3. Pack ingredients separately, then assemble them when it's time to eat. Bring whole grain bread, avocado and other toppings and create an open-faced avocado sandwich at your desk. Try keeping oil and vinegar at your workstation so you can dress salad with a healthful vinaigrette.
Summer grilling doesn't just brings out the best get-togethers, but also the best in barbecued steaks. Don't throw your t-bones and sirloins into the grill just yet. Our easy-to-follow recipes for marinades for steak will give your meat a hearty flavour-boost that'll please all meat-lovers in your family.
The best way to add some flavour to your steaks is by whipping together some great marinades for steak and letting the meat soak up the amazing flavours. If you love exotic spices, try bathing your steak in a Five-Spice Marinade, which is flavour-packed with Chinese five-spice powder. Or, mix together cumin, paprika, garlic and lemon juice for a hot and zesty Moroccan Marinade.
Want something simple and classic? A quick Salt and Pepper Steak Rub is a perfect addition to any barbecue.
You can also try brushing your steaks on the grill with some Sweet Smoky Tomato Basting Sauce, a delicious mix of tomatoes, apple cider and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Now get out and get grilling with some of these delicious marinades for steak.
10 tasty marinades for steak:
1.Salt and Pepper Steak Rub The classic combination of black pepper and coriander seeds is delicious on thick, juicy steaks, such as T-bones, sirloins or strip loins.
2.Sweet Smoky Tomato Basting Sauce This sauce mellows out considerably when brushed over meat on the grill, but it also packs a punch of flavour when served as a side sauce at the table. For doubly delicious results, use it to baste while grilling and serve extra sauce at the table.
3.Moroccan Marinade Got a pantry of spices? Stir together a few tablespoons of cumin and paprika with cinnamon, garlic and lemon juice for a flavour-filled marinade, perfect for grilling meat and poultry.
4. Universal Spice Rub Keep this simple all-purpose rub on hand for a last-minute flavour boost. You can rub it onto steak, ribs, brisket, chicken, fish or seafood before putting them on the barbecue.
5. Chili Orange Marinadeâ€¨ Love the taste of orange? Try whipping together orange juice, orange rind, tomato paste and chili powder for a flavour-packed marinade, perfect for grilling steaks or chicken.
6. Lemon Pepper Marinadeâ€¨ This zesty mix of lemon rind, lemon juice, garlic and peppercorns makes a delicious marinade for grilling steak and chicken.
7. Five-Spice Marinade Want add a punch of flavour to your steak? Bathe your steaks with a marinade of Chinese five-spice powder, gingerroot, onion, cayenne pepper, soy sauce and orange juice.
8. Cajun Spice Mix Add some spice to your steaks. Mix together some brown sugar, paprika, cumin, dry mustard and hot pepper flakes and lather it onto your sirloins, kabobs and T-bones. 9. Mediterranean Spice Mix If you're interested in adding a milder flavour to your steak, whip together some rosemary, cumin, oregano and cinnamon for a sweet and delicate flavour.
10. Adobo Marinade Love jalapenos? Soak your steaks with this spicy marinade, made of garlic, lime juice, cumin, oregano and a hot jalapeno pepper.
With the growing trend of love blending with technology, there are a variety of online dating sites with mobile apps that are helping connect more people. Whether you're looking for a casual encounter or something more serious, there’s a dating app to suit almost every need. Here are seven top dating apps for you to consider.
1. OkCupid (free for both iPhone and Android devices) This popular online dating site also has a location-based mobile app that allows you to take your experience on the go. Users can sign in via Facebook or directly through the app to find local singles. The app allows you to watch the activity stream for potential matches, "favourite" a profile and rate your potential matches through the Quick Match feature. With over five million registered users since 2010, you never know whom you might find.
2. Match (available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices) Match.com, a pioneer dating website that launched in 1995, has users based in 24 countries around the world. People can sign up through Match.com and then download the app on their mobile devices. The app allows members to view profiles, upload up to 24 images, add users to their "Favourites" and rate their "Daily Matches." Subscriptions range anywhere from a month to a year. Pick one that suits you best.
3. eHarmony (available for iPhone and Android devices) This popular online dating site launched in 2000. Its claim to fame? Over one million people who used eHarmony went on to find lifelong partnerships. Users can sign up via the app, complete a relationship questionnaire, upload photos from their mobile phones or from Facebook, and receive daily matches—all free of charge. Paid subscribers get access to email and can also see who has viewed their profiles. It's the perfect app for those of all ages who are looking for long-term commitments. 4. Badoo (free for both iPhone and Android devices) With a community of more than 208 million users, Badoo is perfect for those looking to socialize and meet new people. The free basic service allows users to chat with and message other members, and upload photos and videos. Members can sign in with a Badoo or Facebook account via the mobile app or website to connect with locals who share common interests. The app also features a fun game called Encounters, which allows users to view potential matches and then tap "yes" or "no" to indicate whether or not they would like to meet. If you're not looking to date, Badoo is also a great app for social networking and friendship.
5. Plenty of Fish (free for both iPhone and Android devices) Plenty of Fish (POF) allows users to find potential dates and perhaps even their soul mates for free! It does have paid services as well, but users don't really need to upgrade; most of the best features such as Meet Me, which allows members to flirt with locals in their areas, are free of charge. This app allows users to search for singles using filters such as education, height, religious affiliations and body type. Another cool feature is Date Night, which tells other singles in your area that you're available for a date.
6. Zoosk (free for both iPhone and Android devices) Zoosk is one of the top mobile dating apps for iPhone users and is one of the Top 10 grossing social networking apps in the iTunes store. This app is available for free and also has a paid subscription option that allows you to access more features. If you’d rather not pay, you can still browse millions of singles, create a profile, upload photos, see who has viewed your profile, and scan and show interest in another member by using the Carousel feature.
7. Tinder (free for both iPhone and Android devices) Tinder has quickly become the go-to dating app for young adults. And the best part? The app is completely free and works on the premise of anonymity. Users, who need a Facebook account to create a profile, can upload up to six profile photos and scroll through recommended matches from your area. If you don't like what you see, you can anonymously "like" or "pass" on the person. But it isn't just for the younger demographic: Tinder reports that 31 percent of its users are aged between 25 and 34, making it a great app for anyone looking to casually date or form potentially long-term relationships.
We're a culture with a seemingly endless appetite for quick fixes, but could embracing the long way lead to happier, more productive lives?
Lindsey Lam considers herself Type A. Rather than shying away from challenges, she has always been determined, continually pushing herself to take on more. After graduating from the University of Alberta, where she majored in both English and women's and gender studies, Lindsey switched into high gear: She worked a full-time job, started a brand-consulting business with a friend and, if that wasn't enough, continued to volunteer as the communications chair on the board of her Rotary District. To help get through her lengthy and ever-growing to-do list, Lindsey used a few hacks to help schedule her time. Some she found helpful, like using visualization to mentally map out a stressful day; others, like using a complicated task-list app, turned out to be a bust.
Hacks (also known as shortcuts, tips or tricks) play on the idea that a wee shift in the way you do something can cause a dramatic increase in your productivity and allow you to do more with less: less energy, less time—you name it. "Hacks are fast, simple and novel ways to save time, money or effort that are fun, harmless and, at times, quite useful," says Dr. Janine Hubbard, a registered psychologist in St. John's, N.L. "There's great appeal in feeling successful quickly."
The Internet certainly agrees. Lifehacker.com, for instance, a website that describes itself as "the expert guide for anyone looking to get things done," has about 22 million monthly readers worldwide. And the site is hardly the sole online source of hacks; we're talking scores of beauty blogs, career websites and even the venerable New York Times, all publishing these seemingly helpful tricks. Not bad for a concept that's really only existed since 2003, when Danny O'Brien, a tech journalist, first blogged about a new project he was undertaking to document the clever shortcuts the computer programmers he knew were using to make their lives run more smoothly.
Now, the term "life hack" has evolved well beyond O'Brien's initial tech-focused collection of planning and organizing advice. Articles regularly promise things like a new job by the weekend, instantly well-behaved children or the ability to meet any goal you set in half the time, outcomes that seem a little too good to be true. But what makes these shortcuts so compelling, when many of us instinctively recognize an unrealistic claim? It all comes down to time. We know hacks are rarely as life-changing or easy to implement as they're made out to be, but with schedules, budgets and attention spans stretched to the limit, shortcuts sometimes seem the only way to get the most out of life. Carl Honoré, author of The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed, believes this kind of thinking is a trap. "We see time as the enemy, something to be conquered and exploited to the fullest extent," he says. "We seem to think that the best way to use time is to squeeze more and more into every minute."
Honoré is a proponent of the slow movement, one that (despite its name) is not about dragging things out or being inefficient. Instead, it promotes the idea that tasks should be completed at a speed that allows the participant to enjoy, savour and learn from the experience. Honoré believes that our lives are stuck on fast-forward, to the detriment of our health, relationships and personal development.
It's hard to disagree. Studies have suggested a link between mental health issues and our constant use of smartphones, tablets and computers. Though most hacks today don't depend on computer programs, as in 2003, there is still a strong focus on technology, especially when it comes to improving our productivity at work—and with the sum of the world's knowledge at our fingertips, it's easy to get caught up in looking for quick solutions to the challenges we face, rather than taking the time to think, reflect and finally act on the best course of action. Though Dr. Hubbard can see the appeal of hacks, she, too, believes in the value of slowing down. "Engaging in problem-solving helps shape cognitive skills such as reasoning, decision- making, critical thinking and creativity," she says.
Slow living takes on many forms, but whether it's slow reading, slow parenting or slow travel (to name a few), the concept remains the same: dialing down the pace to enjoy, rather than rush through, the experience. Even the corporate world seems to be coming around to the idea; some companies are adding nap rooms to their offices, offering on-site yoga classes or limiting emails sent to employees during off-work hours. The benefits? More refreshed, productive and engaged employees.
Still, hitting the brakes isn't for everyone. Some personalities, careers and lifestyles thrive in the fast lane. And, as anyone who has managed to double the storage space in her closet can tell you, hacks can be helpful, as long as you maintain reasonable expectations about what they can actually do for you. But "they're generally not realistic for larger goals or achievements," says Dr. Hubbard.
In the end, perhaps Honoré says it best: "Whether it's a fine wine, a happy family or a successful career, the good stuff takes time and effort." It's a reminder that, ultimately, it's often what you put into something that determines what you get out of it.
Ready to slow down? Here's what to do:
Take a pass
Too much going on? Learn to focus your energy on the things that matter to you by saying no to things that don't. If you find yourself put on the spot, try multitasking maven Lindsey Lam's tip: "Rather than saying yes right away, buy time by saying, 'I'll get back to you.' " That way, you're not forced to decide under pressure whether it's something you want to commit to. And when you do reply, "be sure it's with a definitive yes or no," she says.
Change your mindset
Proud of your packed, hectic schedule? "Being crazy-busy should not be a badge of honour; it should be a warning sign that your life is spinning out of control," says author Carl Honoré, a proponent of the slow movement. Remember that life will not be extra fulfilling just because you're extra busy. Take pride in time spent well: Do things you enjoy, connect with friends or work toward your goals.
Think you're doing more? Dividing your attention makes you less efficient and more prone to errors. If something, or someone, is important enough for you to spend time on, give it the honour of your full attention.
Here at Canadian Living, we strongly believe in giving gifts that are edible, so we've collected our favourite recipes for homemade goodies that any person on your holiday list will eat right up.
Of course, you can race around shopping for the gifts you typically buy your crew—wine, clothing, ornaments, candles, etc.—or you can save yourself the trouble and make them an original treat they're bound to love. After all, as the old axiom goes, food is the way to any man's (or woman's) heart.
Go for classic holiday bark, but try new variations like Xmas Explosion Cookie, Pomegranate, Pistachio, and Apricot, or Chai Ginger. Instead of buying a box of chocolates, whip up some homemade gourmet ones like White Chocolate Coconut Bonbons or Cookie Dough Bonbons. And if you have a brittle fan in the mix, make some Nut and Sesame Brittle or just Sesame Brittle.
A surefire gift idea for kids (well, and grownups, too)? A DIY Hot Chocolate Mix and S'mores Marshmallows. For the friend with a serious sweet tooth, go with Eggnog Fudge or Sponge Toffee. And for the cocktail connoisseur, they'll love our Ruby Cranberry Liqueur, Chocolate Hazelnut Liqueur, or Pickled Cranberry Preserves.
Flip through the slideshow to check out all of the recipes to our favourite homemade gifts from the kitchen.